Dry or cracked heels are not only a source of discomfort for yourself but also for any onlookers. You just cannot wear good heels and backless sandals on a girl’s night out if you have cracked heels. Getting a weekly pedicure is a costly solution and doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get rid of your cracked heels for good. This article will provide an in-depth understanding of home remedies that will get rid of those cracked heels for good!
Cracked heels are a problem that both men and women can face during their lifetime. We are often careless about foot care, which leads to dry, cracked feet, smelly feet, and in some cases, bacterial or fungal infections.
Do you know happy and healthy feet imply a healthy body and happy life? Your feet go through a lot every day. If you neglect taking care of them, not only can you get injured, but your skin can dry up and crack.
The most common cause of cracked heels is a lack of foot care and hydration. Cracked heels are a very common phenomenon in people with flat feet.
If you’re suffering from cracked heels, here’s how you can heal them in 4 easy steps:
We wash the clothes we wear regularly, but do we clean the shoes we wear that frequently? It’s an excellent habit to rotate shoes and not wear the same shoes every day. You can put your shoes in direct sunlight for an hour or two to kill any bacteria or fungus inside. In the case of sandals and heels with hard souls, you can wipe them with a good anti-bacterial. This is a good weekly practice that will help you avoid getting any heel cracks and will reduce fungal growth and feet odor.
Before getting into the four steps of healing cracked heels, it is vital to discuss basic daily foot care that you should follow regardless of cracked heels. The first and foremost thing you must do is exfoliate and moisturize your heels during nighttime and after taking a bath. You can use any foot cream that contains ingredients like organic virgin coconut oil and shea butter. It is not advisable to wear flat shoes or flip flops frequently. Without any arc support, the surface area of the foot touching the ground increases, which can lead to cracked heels.
Before moving any further,
Step 1: Removing Dead Skin
The types of cracks on feet vary from person to person. Some people have dead skin layers that can easily be removed with a pumice stone or a scrubber after every bath or shower. Some people have very thick layers of skin, and corns and calluses may develop on such skin. This can make healing cracked dry heels hard and painful. Foot creams and moisturizers can also be ineffective if the thick layer of skin isn’t removed.
The dead skin can be removed by applying a scrub on the dry, cracked heels thrice a week. There are different types of scrubs available in the market. You can opt to buy a scrub or make your own! If you’re looking for a DIY recipe, here’s our favorite:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of honey to create a thick sticky paste.
- You can massage this scrub on your heels for 5 minutes after a shower.
- The thick dead skin of the cracks will gradually disappear if you use this scrub for 2 – 4 weeks.
If you don’t have all the ingredients mentioned above, then there’s another DIY scrub that you can make from lemon and sugar. Here’s how:
- Take half of a lemon slice and sprinkle a generous amount of sugar on top.
- Directly scrub the sugar-coated lemon slice on your cracked heels for 5 – 10 minutes and then soak your feet in warm water containing vinegar and shower gel. This combination of lemon and vinegar is best to remove the dead skin cells.
Step 2: Foot Soak And Natural Exfoliation
Soaking your feet in warm water after a long hectic day can make you feel relaxed. Many people use this remedy to treat cracked heels, but this will ultimately lead to moisture loss, especially if you do not moisturize your feet afterward. In this section, we’ll elaborate on the right way to soak your feet in warm water to heal cracked heels.
For a homemade foot soak and exfoliation, you’ll need warm water, Epsom salt, baking soda, Aloe Vera, coconut oil, and essential oils. Fill a medium or a small-sized tub with warm water and soak your feet in it. The water must warm enough to soften your skin. The quantity of water is dependent on the tub size. You can use a maximum of 2 liters of water to submerge your feet. The reason behind using an accurate measurement is that the quantity of the ingredients is in proportion to the amount of water. You don’t want the ingredients to be too diluted and lose effectiveness.
Here’s how you can make a homemade soak:
- Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, and 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Place your feet in this water for 15 minutes.
- You need to make sure to dry the feet with a clean and dry towel. If the towel isn’t clean, then it may lead to bacterial infection between the toes and nail fungus.
- Once the feet are dry, you should rub a pumice stone on your foot and ankle to remove the dead skin.
The next step is to clean the feet with a towel and apply Aloe Vera gel on your feet. You can either use Aloe Vera from the plant itself or an organic Aloe Vera gel that is readily available in the market. It is a natural moisturizer and is able to treat cracked heels with its healing properties. If Aloe Vera isn’t readily available, then you can opt for olive oil as a replacement. All you need is to massage a little quantity of the oil on your heels until it’s completely absorbed.
The best time to follow this process is at night before going to bed. It won't take more than 20 to 25 minutes of your time. This step uses the ingredients available in your house. You will see visible smoothness in your cracked feet after following this step twice or thrice a week. If you want to make the most out of this home remedy, you can wear cotton socks to lock in moisture.
You need to be careful about the washing of these socks, though. As these socks are worn overnight and lock moisturizer inside, you need to invert them before putting them in the washing machine.
Step 3: Choice Of Moisturizer And Socks
If you don’t want to use Aloe Vera (due to its stickiness) or olive oil, you can choose any feet moisturizer available in the market. All you need is to check the ingredients of the foot cream before buying. The foot cream must contain either lactic acid or hyaluronic acid as the base ingredient. These ingredients have well-known healing and moisturizing properties, which are proven effective in treating cracked heels. If you want to go for a fancy foot cream with soothing fragrance, then cocoa butter foot moisturizers are a good choice.
If you’re looking for a homemade foot mask, we suggest this recipe:
- Mix 2 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoon glycerin, and 2 tablespoons of rosewater
- Apply this mask on your feet and leave it overnight, and your cracked heels will repair within two weeks.
After applying this mask, you should seal the moisture in the feet. To do so, you can use moisturizing socks, which have built-in Aloe Vera to heal dry, cracked feet.
Step 4: Healing Ointment
You Must grab some Foot Finish by Love, Lori!
Cracked heels are very painful if they’re left untreated for a long time. They are also prone to infections. Hence, you need to use healing ointment and liquid bandages to prevent infection from occurring within the heel cracks. You can use any antibiotic cream or healing ointment recommended by a dermatologist.
The healing ointment treatment works best when used in combination with petroleum jelly - but if you want something off the shelf that will cover all the bases, checkout out foot finish (above). All you need is to take 1 part of petroleum jelly and ½ part of healing ointment and apply the mixture on the cracked heels. To enhance the efficacy of this treatment, you can either cover your feet with socks or liquid bandages.
The liquid bandages serve as a constant source of anti-bacterial moisturizer to treat cracked heels. They provide an additional protective layer to reduce pain and stop germs and dirt from entering the cracks. This step is only for those with thick heel skin and painful cracks. If the cracks do not heal and the pain persists after a week of following this step, we recommend that you consult a dermatologist for further treatment.
It is easy to treat cracked heels using home remedies. Multiple ingredients, including olive and coconut oil, lemon, baking soda, vinegar, and brown sugar, are simply available in your kitchen and can help you prevent heel cracks.
It is important to treat dry heels with proper treatment. If you delay the treatment for dry, cracked heels, it may result in severe repercussions that can only be treated medically.
You need to be consistent in your foot care regime by following the four steps we’ve mentioned below. We’ve mentioned quite a few DIY recipes, but we know not everyone has the time for that. So, you can opt for chemical or organic foot creams available in the market too. Just ensure that they have the right ingredients, like alpha hydroxy acid and salicylic acid.
By following these steps religiously, you’ll be able to treat heel cracks and achieve smooth heels. However, simply getting rid of your heel cracks isn’t enough. You need to create a healthy foot care regimen that will ensure your heels remain in good shape and don’t get heel cracks again.
What Causes Dry, Cracked Heels?
If your skin type is dry, then you are more prone to having cracked heels. Usually, dry, cracked heels are caused by frequently walking barefoot on a rough surface. The type of shoe you wear is also directly linked to heel cracks. If your shoes are ill-fitted or worn out, then it can result in dry and cracked heels.
Obesity is another major cause of dry, cracked heels. When the weight of the body increases, it increases pressure on the foot. As a result, the feet expand, and this can lead to dry and cracked heels.
Dehydration is yet another cause of cracked heels. If your water intake is less than 8 glass of water a day, the skin becomes dry and dull. The very first visible effect of dehydration is cracked heels. However, excessive exposure to water can cause the skin to lose its natural oils. This also results in dehydration and thus, dry, cracked heels.
How Long Does It Take For A Cracked Heel To Heal?
The healing time is dependent on the types of cracks and the amount of dryness. If you haven’t looked after your feet for a long time, then it may take 1 to 2 months of constant foot care to heal the cracks.
In severe cases, such as when your heels hurt when you walk, you may need to consult your dermatologist. In these cases, treatment may be longer. If you develop a bacterial or fungal infection within the cracks, then the treatment can take months, depending upon the medication you are prescribed.
Are Cracked Heels A Sign Of Something?
Cracked feet are natural and can happen to anyone at any time. However, sometimes, they can be a sign of a serious medical condition as well. For example, cracked heels are common with diabetes, thyroid problems, and other skin diseases that include psoriasis, athlete’s foot, and eczema.
You may also develop heel cracks if your body lacks vitamins A, C, E, and minerals like Zinc and magnesium. Hence, if your dry, cracked heels persist, it’s good to go to the doctor.
Checkout the entire line by yours truly - Love, Lori